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Homer D. Sayson
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List of Articles by Homer D. Sayson


 

"LeBust" James: A Prince not a King

By Homer D. Sayson
PhilBoxing.com
14 Jun 2011



ONE OF the things that LeBron James loves to do after a big play is to clench his right hand into a fist and pound it as hard as he repeatedly can onto his left chest.

As it turned out, that lumberjack chest of his has nothing inside it that resembles the heart of a champion.

In the just-concluded NBA Finals, LeBron James was exposed as an athlete so rich with talent but so poor when it comes to the big moments. Unlike the great ones before him ---- Magic, Bird, Jordan and, Kobe ---- who relished the pressure of their sports's biggest showcase, James ran away from it at full speed.

Won by the underdog Dallas Mavericks over the Miami Heat, the 2011 NBA Finals will be remembered as Dirk Nowitzki's crowning moment, the utter validation of his greatness and a feel-good story about how one team with one star thoroughly defeated a trio of supremely gifted individuals.

Those Finals were also a story of perseverance, of how 38-year old Jason Kidd finally got his coveted ring after a 17-year odyssey marked by two previous NBA Finals heartaches.

It was also about wily veterans Jason Terry, 33, and Shawn Marion, 32, who kept the faith, believed in themselves, and reversed the notion that the stud-studded Heat were too hot too handle.

And while it was indeed a joyride for the Mavericks, the 2011 NBA Finals will also be remembered as a hellride for LeBron --- his shockingly catastrophic fall from would-be megastar to glorified sidekick.

IN THE first three rounds of this year's playoffs, James averaged 27 points per game. But it fell to just a tick under 18 per during the title series, the largest scoring drop in Finals history.

James' Finals struggles are well-documented and well-ridiculed. He had a triple-single in Game 4, called Game 5 the "biggest game" of his life and promptly disappeared in the fourth quarter. In Game 6, the Dallas clincher, LeBron was a harmless bystander, a nervous wreck who missed more shots than he made while committing 6 turnovers.

In other words, BronBron lacked the appetite for greatness and he shrunk under the bright lights, echoing calls for the Heat to hire a sports psychologist to help guide their misguided star.

When he left Cleveland as a free agent last July, LeBron infamously said "I've decided to take my talents to South Beach." Later that day, before a throng of uber giddy Heat fans, James grabbed a microphone and counted the championships that he, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were supposed to win in Miami, "not five, not six, not seven...."

The good news is that LeBron's talents will stay in South Beach. The bad news is that for now, his championship count is miserably stuck at zero, while the pride and glory has left for Dallas with Dirk Nowtizki and friends.

Ultimately, LeBron will win a ring, in Miami or elsewhere. He's just too good to end up empty-handed in the jewelry hauling business.

For now, though, until he learns to embrace the big moments, LeBron is more hype than substance. A king without a crown. (Homer D. Sayson)


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